by Ken Dammand, Feb. 2014
Internet Neutrality —Lost
Perhaps the single greatest opportunity for the wealthy to purchase more than their share of our democracy is provided by the high cost of presenting ideas and candidates to the public. Until recently, the internet has been a vital bastion of equality in the communications arena. No more. A D.C. appellate court ruling on January 14, 2014, ended the era in which all internet users were treated equally…
The decision gave the plaintiff, Verizon Communications, and all other internet service providers (ISPs) the option of selling expedited processing of internet traffic. This means they can slow down or speed up the service associated with a particular website and charge a fee for doing so. The end result will be a massive increase in ISP profits and a marked increase in the cost of communicating on the internet. The political implications are obvious. Voices of opposition to power will be handicapped if not entirely silenced while the ability of self-serving propagandists, supported by the ultra-wealthy, will be amplified beyond the merit or veracity of their message.
This is an event of immense importance to our democracy. Yet it has received very scant mention in the mainstream press. One can only speculate with regard to the reason for this. But any genuinely liberal press or even a conservative press that was concerned about free speech would be making this known to the public. Need we say more?
For a detailed explanation of the issue and history of Internet Neutrality, click here.
There is still a possibility to save internet neutrality. To sign on to a petition to the new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, click here.